An extract on #aperolspritz
Groening made his first professional cartoon sale of Life in Hell to the avant-garde Wet magazine in 1978. At its peak, the cartoon was carried in 250 weekly newspapers. Life in Hell caught the attention of James L. Brooks. In 1985, Brooks contacted Groening with the proposition of working in animation for the Fox variety show The Tracey Ullman Show. Originally, Brooks wanted Groening to adapt his Life in Hell characters for the show. Fearing the loss of ownership rights, Groening decided to create something new and came up with a cartoon family, the Simpson family, and named the members after his own parents and sisterswhile Bart was an anagram of the word brat. The shorts would be spun off into their own series The Simpsons, which has since aired 618 episodes. In 1997, Groening and former Simpsons writer David X. Cohen developed Futurama, an animated series about life in the year 3000, which premiered in 1999, running for four years on Fox, then picked up by Comedy Central for additional seasons. Groening is currently developing a new series for Netflix titled Disenchantment, which is set to premiere in 2018.
Groening has won 12 Primetime Emmy Awards, ten for The Simpsons and two for Futurama as well as a British Comedy Award for "outstanding contribution to comedy" in 2004. In 2002, he won the National Cartoonist Society Reuben Award for his work on Life in Hell. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 14, 2012.
In 1994, Groening formed Bongo Comics (named after the character Bongo from Life in Hell) with Steve Vance, Cindy Vance and Bill Morrison, which publishes comic books based on The Simpsons and Futurama (including Futurama Simpsons Infinitely Secret Crossover Crisis, a crossover between the two), as well as a few original titles. According to Groening, the goal with Bongo is to "[try] to bring humor into the fairly grim comic book market." He also formed Zongo Comics in 1995, an imprint of Bongo that published comics for more mature readers, which included three issues of Mary Fleener's Fleener and seven issues of his close friend Gary Panter's Jimbo comics.
Groening is known for his eclectic taste in music. His favorite band is Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention and his favorite album is Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart (which was produced by Zappa). He guest-edited Da Capo Press's Best Music Writing 2003 and curated a US All Tomorrow's Parties music festival in 2003. He illustrated the cover of Frank Zappa's posthumous album Frank Zappa Plays the Music of Frank Zappa: A Memorial Tribute (1996). In May 2010, he curated another edition of All Tomorrow's Parties in Minehead, England. He also plays the drums in the all-author rock and roll band The Rock Bottom Remainders (although he is listed as the cowbell player), whose other members include Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Scott Turow, Amy Tan, James McBride, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount Jr., Stephen King, Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Sam Barry and Greg Iles. In July 2013, Groening co-authored Hard Listening (2013) with the rest of the Rock Bottom Remainders (published by Coliloquy, LLC).